Caring for Aging Parents At Home
Amman | Beirut| Dubai | West Africa
Aging in place is more than just the latest trend. It’s about enjoying the next stage of life by making sure the home you love is safe and secure. Despite diverse backgrounds and varying income levels, seniors across the country, and around the world, are attempting to solve the problem of aging in place. “The ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”
You are caring for aging parents at home or independent parents living alone. As a caregiver you need to ensure that they remain safe.
In our part of the world, caring for aging parents at home is part of our culture. Opting for retirement homes, elderly care centres or nursing homes is often the family’s last resort.
You may be reading this article because you have already witnessed a significant change in their ability to tackle everyday tasks safely. This could be as simple as being out of breath climbing the stairs, or difficulty getting in and out of a chair. In some cases, the change is more significant and may be the result of a fall , recovery from a major health problem, dealing with arthritis or coping with joint pain, or just getting frail with age.
The stairs are getting so hard to climb.
An overall decline in physical and mental vitality may result in visible and even drastic changes to our parent’s appearance. It will also affect their standard of life, and emotional well-being. The more aware we are of how aging can affect them, and what options are available to us as caring adult children, the better for all involved. The well-being of our parents is our ultimate wish. Elderly care means considering a family member’s emotional, mental and physical well-being. Essential daily living requirements, necessary to the dignity and physical and emotional well-being of our elderly parents, must be met effectively. The basic activities of daily living (ADL) are typically listed as:
- Functional Mobility (moving while performing activities, getting in and out of a chair or in and out of bed)
- Bathing or Showering (Preventing Falls In The Bathroom)
- Personal Hygiene (includes brushing/styling hair, shaving, grooming activities)
- Toilet Hygiene (includes getting to the toilet, self-cleaning, getting up from the toilet)
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Aging in place is about opting to stay in your own home as you get older.
Other types of daily living activities, not necessarily fundamental, but related to independent functioning are called instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). These are most often referred to as the following types of activities with long-term care:
- Cooking and Preparing Meals
- Cleaning and Maintaining the Home
- Shopping and Buying Necessities
- Running Errands
- Managing Money and Paying Bills
- Speaking or Communicating on the Phone or Through Other Devices
- Taking Prescribed Medications
Home Medical equipment
It’s important to the overall well-being of elderly parents that their IADLs are taken care of effectively and consistently. If there are obstacles or difficulties with doing these tasks alone, there is help. Whether it’s you, other siblings, relatives or friends that help out, or even professional caregivers, arranging help is possible. Other sources of help include technological devices (Assistive Technology) that can provide assistance. Taking an honest look at where an elderly parent needs support is the first step and then assess at all the possible solutions in order get them the help they need. If they have impaired mobility and health issues that make it difficult or impossible for them to take care of these ADLs independently then you need to find them the appropriate help. Whether it’s providing care (you or a qualified caregiver) or investing in the proper home medical equipment and accessories to help them continue doing daily tasks independently, be aware that there are many choices and options available.
- Stairlifts straight and curved
- Riser & Recliner chairs (Lift chairs)
- Home Care or Nursing beds (have the basic functionalities of a Hospital bed but with the look of a Home bed)
- Bathroom and toileting safety aids
- Mobility aids (Walking canes, walkers and Rollators)
- Hoists and other Lifting equipment
Getting The Best Care For Elderly Parents
Ultimately, we all take on some type of caregiver role with elderly parents, even if we don’t live with them or provide daily care. As mom or dad, they once concerned themselves and devoted their time and energy to our well-being. Now, as adult children, we find ourselves doing the same for them. No matter how you look at it caring for elderly parents means making sure they are safe, happy and taken care of. If their well-being is ensured then we have peace of mind. Something to remember is that caring for elderly parents shouldn’t be a burden or responsibility to bear alone. Caregiver support is available. In addition to siblings and other family members, there are experts, professionals, resources, and loads of information to help you in caring for elderly parents. Finding the right mix for their welfare and happiness takes some time and is a dynamic condition that will change over time, perhaps even day to day. Don’t worry or stress out. Remember, you are not alone. Staying informed, considering their happiness and comfort and making use of as many supportive resources possible, is the best approach when caring for elderly parents.
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